Indiana governor Mike Pence (R) stepped out in defense of the newly signed “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” and, like a good Republican, he blamed the media for reaction to the law.
The law, which some say will permit open discrimination against gays and lesbians in Indiana, was opposed by the state’s Chamber of Commerce, as well as many major businesses. The outcry over its passage has been loud, and not confined to Indiana. The NCAA, the governing body for college sports, has indicated its opposition to the law. Salesforce.com, which is in the business of cloud computing, has cancelled any programs that would require customers or employees to travel to Indiana. Even the Christian denomination “Disciples Of Christ” is threatening to move their 2017 convention from Indianapolis because of the law.
But Pence says that everyone needs to calm down, and “read the bill.”
Pence sat down on March 26 for an interview with conservative talk show host Greg Garrison. During their conversation, he tells Garrison,
If you read the bill instead of reading the papers, you would see that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which is now law in Indiana, is simply about giving the courts guidance and establishing the same standards that have existed at the federal level for more than 20 years.
Garrison presses Pence throughout the interview on why Indiana would need such a law. He tells Pence that he just doesn’t see the need for it. When Pence replies with the examples of Hobby Lobby, and Notre Dame, both instances where those entities objected to providing contraception coverage under Obamacare, Garrison observes that those cases are covered under federal law. He then presses Pence to give examples of cases where he thought a state law would be necessary.
Pence admits that he knows of no examples of cases that would currently make this law necessary.
I’m not aware of cases in controversy. . . This isn’t about any present controversy, as much as some people want to make it about that.
Here’s the conversation, via WIBC:[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/197819023″]
Image via Gage Skidmore/Flickr